Study: Teen girls more likely to use cell phone while driving

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DENVER --  A new study from AAA says teenage girls are far more likely to use a cell phone while driving, and it is having deadly results.

Look at it this way. If you look down at your cell phone for just three seconds at 65 miles an hour, you’ve just driven more than the length of a football field.

Combine that with a teen behind the wheel, and you've got formula for a disaster.

Thousands of candid videos were used in AAA's study.

It found teen girl drivers are twice as likely as boys to be distracted by electronic devices like cell phones.

"You have to like keep like make sure you're paying attention to the road," said Denver teen driver Irene Didgins.

Reporter:  "While you're talking on your phone?"

Irene: "A huh."

Reporter: "Do you think it's safe?"

Irene: "No."

Reporter: "But you do it?"

Irene: "Ha ha Yeah."

In fact for girls and boys, talking and texting were the most common driving distractions, confirming behavior which contributes to the leading killer of teens: car crashes.

"Teens are inexperienced behind the wheel,” said Stacey Stegman, spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Transportation. “So any sort of distraction is that much worse because they don't have the skills to recover.“

Colorado law bans drivers under 18 from using cell phones or texting.

But parents set the example.

"If they see you on the cell phone see you texting seeing you being distracted that's exactly what they're going to do once they start driving," said AAA Colorado’s Wave Dreher.

The study also says cell phones make teenage drivers three times more likely to take their eyes off the road.

"I haven't been driving that long,” said Lorka Lopez a Denver teen driver, “But I'm still scared of like touching my phone while I'm driving so I don't. "

"I'd rather not die I guess," said Jacob Cohen who gets his license in a few months.

The study encourages parents to open a dialogue with teens.

"My mom told me that when I get a car she's going to put something in that will shut my phone down," said Alex Cohen.

"We know family friends who have had kids die in car accidents so it's just kind of you don't," said Mckae Willardsen, a teen driver shopping downtown with her mom.

But apparently too many kids do.

Other distractions like having other teens in the car, turning around, horseplay and loud conversations all make it as much as six times more likely teen drivers will get into a serious accident.

And parents take note:  the study found that a parent or another adult riding in the car cuts that risk dramatically.

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